NOAA Fisheries Services Takes Emergency Action to Address Red Tide
NOAA Fisheries Service is taking emergency action today to close a portion of Federal waters off the coasts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts to the harvest of all species of shellfish (bivalves), with the exception of scallop meats, due to the spread of toxic algal blooms (red tide). This is the largest bloom on record in New England history warranting a public health emergency.
Red tide is responsible for the production of marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in persons consuming affected shellfish. The algae blooms create a neurotoxin that accumulates in filter-feeding shellfish and other parts of the marine food web. The consumption of affected shellfish poses a serious threat to public health.
The Food and Drug Administration, on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, requested NOAA Fisheries Service take immediate action to close this area given the severity of the illness associated with PSP.